Early Childhood Program
51 St. John’s Parkside
Buffalo, N.Y. 14210
Phone: (716) 828-9560
Fax: (716) 828-7438
Early Childhood Program
The Early Childhood Program (ECP) was founded in 1971 and cares for children onsite as well as in the community through special education, speech, occupational, and physical therapy, counseling, and family training.
ECP provides pre-school for children with special needs including developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorders, Sensory Integration Disorder, social anxiety disorders, and others. Children with special needs are referred through school districts in Erie County.
The Early Childhood Program follows a curriculum that is based on New York State Preschool Learning Standards. Areas included in the curriculum are: math, literacy, science, arts, physical development, personal health, communication, social studies, sensory and motor development. ECP Classrooms tie their learning experiences to fun and exciting events throughout the year. Children go on field trips to educational and fun learning places like: Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, Kelkenberg Farms, Zittel Farms, and Tifft Farm Nature Preserve. In addition, ECP hosts many special guests and events throughout the school year including: magician visits, puppet shows, reptile shows, Community Helper Week, and a school-wide art show.
ECP promotes parent and family involvement in the program, offering training and education on a variety of early childhood topics and areas of interest to families, as well as providing parents with the opportunity to come in to meet the staff and observe classrooms. ECP has an open door policy allowing parents to observe their children in the classroom or therapy at any time.
ECP operates on the school calendar.
Integrated Preschool Program Ages 2 ½ -5 years
The Integrated Preschool Program features children with and without disabilities playing and learning together. Both half-and full-day classrooms are available, providing quality education in a language-rich environment. Curriculum consists of developmentally-appropriate activities including math, science, creative art, music, and play interaction. The focus is on communication and opportunity for success with peer role models.
- Each classroom is staffed with one Special Education teacher and at least 2 certified assistants
- Classroom enrollment ranges from 12-14 children, some with special needs along with their typically developing peers.
- ECP provides on-site: Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Counseling, Music Therapy, Service Coordination, Social Work, and Family Training.
For a small fee, extended day care services are offered from 7:30-9:00am and 3:00-4:30pm.
BVS ECP has Integrated Preschool classes in two locations: 51 St. John’s Parkside, Buffalo and at School 54 located at 2358 Main Street, Buffalo.
Peer Program Ages 2 ½ -5 years
In the ECP Integrated Preschool classrooms, youngsters with and without disabilities play and learn together in a language-rich learning environment. ECP seeks children who are developing typically to serve as child “mentors” in play and learning activities with behavioral support needs.
RSO Program (Related Service Only)
The Early Childhood Program also provides therapy to students in preschools, daycares, and at home.
- Ages 3-5 years
- Referrals made by school districts in Erie County
RSO Services provided by ECP include:
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work/ Counseling
- Parent/Child Group
- Special Education Itinerant
ECP services are provided in the home, preschool or child care center.
If you suspect that your child has a delay which may affect their development, the Early Childhood Program is dedicated to the early identification of toddlers and preschool children from 2 ½ to 5 years of age, who reside in Erie County.
Referral for comprehensive preschool evaluations are accepted through local school districts’ Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). This evaluation is completed at no cost to families. Parents, Pediatricians, and/or early educators may contact ECP for further information on how to proceed with this process.
Our staff of specialists identifies and assesses the following areas of development:
- Speech/Language/Communication Skills
- Social/ Emotional Development
- Fine and Gross Motor Skills
- Sensory Processing
- Cognitive/Preacademic Skills
ECP utilizes a multi-disciplinary team approach to identify areas of concern. Families are then provided with the appropriate information, support, and assistance to help them understand their child’s needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an integrated preschool program?
An integrated preschool program is a special program for children with disabilities that are included in a classroom with typically developing children. The children with disabilities participate in all activities, with modifications made to suit individual needs. By having the children with disabilities participate in this type of program, they are provided with role models from the same age group. This setting also aids the typically developing child in learning about and accepting children with disabilities.
What is the difference between a peer and a client?
A peer is a typically developing child. A client is a child who has been identified with having educational, speech, fine/gross motor, and/or behavioral needs and has an Individualized Educational Plan in place.
Who should I contact if I have educational, cognitive, behavioral, fine motor, gross motor, or speech concerns regarding my child?
You should call the Committee on Preschool Special Education in your school district.
Is bussing available?
Bussing is made available for clients. Parents also have the option to transport their own children. If your child is a peer, parents are responsible for their own child’s transportation.
What will it cost for my child to attend ECP?
If your child is a client, there is no cost to families. New York State Education Department and the child’s school district fund the program. If your child is a peer, it is the parent’s responsibility for payment.
As of Fall 2011, the current rates are as follows:
Half day 9:00-11:30am or 12:30-3:00pm is $12.50.
Full day 9:00-3:00 is $25.00.
Extended Care (before and after school) is available for an additional nominal fee.
Are there informational sessions for parents?
Parent Trainings are periodically available throughout the school year.
Is there a nurse onsite?
ECP has a Registered Nurse on site daily. If your child gets injured or becomes ill, he/she will be treated using standard first aid procedures. If there is a major injury, you will be contacted by phone immediately.